Thursday, September 16, 2010

From The New Mommy

Hey guys! Just thought it had been a LONG time since I posted so I wanted to just say yeah, I'm alive, and yes, I had my sweet baby girl! Here she is!

Chloe Leeann
7lbs 8 oz 21 inches

This is her not long after she was born, and here are a few more that are a little more recent. She is going on 6 weeks now! WOW! Where did time go?? She is about 3-4 weeks in these down here. I need to take some more pictures with my camera! I have a bunch on my phone, lol, its what is with me all the time.

Anyway the delivery went SO GREAT, better then I could have dreamed. I am feeling pretty good now, I go in for my 6 week post partum check-up today, so hopefully I will hear I can resume normal activities. Like horseback riding! And sex...yeah, thats a good one too, LOL! As well as working out, gotta get rid of that flabby baby belly!

So hope all is well with everyone else! I hope to have horsey goings ons back on here asap! I'm dying to ride Daisy May again! I also got a new HD video camera, so that will make my videos much better quality! Yeah!

Take care!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Picture Update

Hey everyone!

I guess picture updates are going to be all you get for awhile, sorry! Until this child is born thats about all I'm up to! (less then 8 weeks until her due date!) The farrier came out last Thursday finally and got them all trimmed up. Tuff was, hm, okay, fair maybe. ALMOST good. But he pulled back a few times on his fronts so that keeps him from getting an A report. B- more like, lol. He did great on his backs of course, he just has a hard time balancing that front end. Daisy of course was a jewel as usual. Stormy and the FIL's horse gave him a bit of trouble, but nothing serious, so all 6 of them did pretty good! (that guy made a CHUNK of change off of us! I swear, it took him 5 mins a horse probably with 30$ a pop! Man, I need to learn to trim...)

So last Friday I was getting so tired of the house and decided to take the doggies and Chloe (lol) for a walk. It was still early so not too hot/humid yet.

First we went out and visited with Tuff and his 'gang'. And every time I tried to get a picture of Mr. Tuff this is what I got:

"Where ya goin, where ya goin??" Finally I got him to quit following me and got a pretty picture. I think he was watching the puppies.

Skip also decided to give me a good one! I'm going to email this one to his 'mommy', she loves taking pictures too.
After we visited them a bit I called the dogs and we took off for the back pasture. Tuff decided to accompany us.
He started off pretty far back but I'm so slow these days that even his slow stride caught up with me by the end of the lane. So I had him breathing down my neck until I shooed him to the side, lol. I know they are used to following nose to tail with theyre horse buddies, but I didn't want him on MY heels! Lol.

Then he decided the grass was more interesting then I was ;)

The look on his face here is hilarious, lol. He's like, now why do you want to go over there??

So I continued my walk, going along the fence line. I didn't see Daisy and Rusty yet, but I figured they must be over by the pond in the woods where it is cooler.

Going into the woods...and lo and behold, there they were! In the little lane between the fence and pond. Just hanging out!

Such a great background for pictures! The last one I made black and white, it looks like a winter scene now. Far from! Although it WAS a lot cooler in there and the gnats and flies were GONE, whew. Although the horse flies were NOT. Poor Daisy had them just chewing on her legs.
Anyway, I went up and said hi and then started trying to get that huge knot out of Daisy's mane thats been there for who knows how long, lol.

This is after I've been working on it a bit with just my fingers, and it still has a looong way to go, lol. I did finally get it though! I've always been kind of good with knots, tangles, etc. No idea why. Its kind of strange.

Pretty girl! So we chilled in there for awhile as I did her mane, it was really nice. Rusty kept trying to sniff the dogs, who wanted nothing to do with him, lol. Then he would come and pester me until I finally elbowed him good. That would keep him away for a bit, until he decided to come and sniff me all over again, lol.

Then we ressumed our journey on down through the lane and out the other side. Here's a few pictures of the pond.

Good place to fish here! Which was exactly what I was planning on doing, going home and getting my tackle and pole and coming back out, but then I got home and was so hot and tired that I never made it back out, lol. Someday! I wish the husband enjoyed it more, but its just not his thing. He is a good bait and pole setter upper though! ;)

Looks like the horses have some well worn paths going on!

Can you find Missie??

So thats about it! I walked on back through the pasture and found Tuff back with his buddies. Guess he got lonely, lol. Then on back to the house!

Thanks for walking with us! Till later!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picture Spam!

Hey everyone! Not much has been going on, obviously. Horses are all doing well, everyone is fat and happy, well Tuff could stand some more weight, but Daisy looks GREAT as you will see. The hooves need to be trimmed soon, so we are going to get that lined up, also need to do a worming, but thats about it!

I don't plan on doing much with Tuff until the baby is born, he has a good grasp on about everything I want him to know. Daisy of course is just Daisy, she doesn't need anything. The BIL might ride her a few times, dunno. She looks so
great, nowhere NEAR her 20 year old age. I don't think she has lost a bit of muscling at all. I wish I was riding! But I'm going to lay low with that until Fall. Ms. Chloe will be taking up MUCH of my time for a while. I may not get back in the saddle until next spring, who knows. We'll see!

So anyway, yesterday afternoon I went out and war painted Tuffs ears up and under his belly. The gnats are EVIL out there. Then the older BIL and I drove out to see Daisy and Rusty. I haven't seen her in months! She looks beautiful. I also war painted her up and checked her over and then had the BIL take some pics of us. She was obviously much more interested in eating grass as you will see, lol.

Oh! And lets not forget, Tuff is a three year old now! He turned on April 29th. Happy birthday Tuff Tuff!

So without further ado here are a ton of pictures I took.

Tuff Tuff coming to see us, hes so coot

Who me??

These next two pics are to show you his color now that he is mostly shed out. Do I have a flea bitten gray?? What do yall think?

The group!

And on to Daisy girl! I just love her face! Dont you guys love the mustang mane? Eeep, need to get some show sheen after that mess

Wondering what this crazy lady is doing

Lookit those dapples! So cute


Pretty girl

Rusty thinking there has to be something left!
Missie girl! I just wuv her. Yeah, she needs a hair cut, lol And lastly, the pasture. Doesn't it look great? Thats just part of it

Thats all folks! Until later!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tuff Has His First 'Riders'!

Hey everyone! Sorry its taken me so long to get to this post!

Last Saturday was a really fun day! My husband didn't go to work like he has every saturday for at least 2 months, and we just hung out at home and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Well later that afternoon I got my stuff together while he was mowing the lawn and headed out to the round pen. Dropped my stuff off, tracked down the western cinch I was going to try with my english saddle, and went and got Tuff. They were of course down in the other pasture again, but this time I just called them up and had them follow me up to the barn, instead of going and fetching Tuff and leading him. Worked great! After we got to the house they all went on up the fence line to the hay rack and Tuff walked right up to me. Nabbed him and we were out of there with no trouble at all!

So on out to the round pen. I put his full-cheek on again, this time under the halter, that seemed to work well. Then I put his saddle on and tried the cinch. FAIL again, lol, way too short still. Sigh! So anyway I took that off and walked him a few rounds on the lead to make sure everything was good with his bit and then on to lunging! Which went a lot better this time. I kept my cool, patience, etc, and did everything slow and as obvious as I could. He did great! Was cantering on the left lead in sync (no cross firing!) and he got his right lead about three times. He even did a few good right inside turns, I think he's finally getting the idea a bit. Just takes practice!

All this time he was carrying his bit and had no trouble with it at all. His mouth was quiet most of the time, he chewed a bit, which is totally fine with me. Thats a good sign. Clenched mouth = bad sign!

So after we did a good bit of lunging I went back to the gate and decided I would go ahead and just try the FILs western saddle on him. This is the point where my memory card completely filled up in my camera and I didnt get anything else on video until my husband came out and I cleaned a bit off to get the last bit of our work out.

Anyway, the saddle was still in the hay barn from Scarlets ride, which is right next to the round pen, so not problem finding it. The problem was carrying the huge thing while leading a horse! Not so fun! I about broke my back lugging it over there hunched over with one hand (I made Tuff carry his saddle blanket, haha, he didn't mind) and we made it, thankfully its quite close to the pen.

I settled him in there, straightened his blanket, let him sniff the saddle a bit, and up it went! I think he might have blinked, and that was it, lol. That thing is a good 25+ lbs! So I moved it about a bit, got my cinch attatched, and tightened him up a bit. Still no problem at all. He was more interested in chewing on his grooming bucket, lol. I flapped the stirrups on his sides a bit and then we moved on out into the round pen. He looked a little confused but walked along well and didn't offer any trouble at all. So for the next 15-20 minutes I would stop every so often to wiggle the saddle side to side, pull on it as if I were getting on, (also hopping up and down like a fool next to him, lol) and then after he did well with all that I started putting my foot in the stirrup and putting a bit of weight in it, not stepping up in it yet, just enough to make the saddle pull a bit. After that was boring I started hoping up into the stirrup for a second and then back down, all of this on both sides. He was so good! I called my husband somewhere in there and when he got over there I had him hold him while I stepped up in it a little more.

At this point I was feeling pretty brave and had my husband hold onto the outside stirrup while I stepped up and layed on my chest/stomach over the saddle. I was holding my breath, pretty positive I wouldn't have any trouble, but you never know! But of course, I didn't! So I did that a few times, and then I told the husband to give it a try. When his much more substantial weight stepped up Tuff moved quite a bit to get his balance, but was in no way alarmed. He got back down and stepped up again and that time he didn't move at all. Good boy!

So then! I leaned up over him again and told the husband to lead us a few steps. THRILL OF A LIFETIME. He did great. Of course he was a little hesitant about moving but so calm about it all. I slid off again and then we repeated and he did even better about moving out that time. We only did like 3 or 4 steps, but it was huge to me! :D

So there you have it! Tuffs first 'ride'! Very good and uneventful! If I wasn't pregnant I probably would have swung over, but I'm not going to risk that. Plus I want him to do some more growing. By fall I think we will be set!

So here is the video! Mostly lunging, and at the end you get to watch the husband walk and trot around with Tuff dressed in his bridle and saddle, hehe.

Next steps! Start working with the bit. I haven't touched it so far, just been letting him carry it, so we will start doing some flexion with it next time I'm out. After I'm sure hes got the concept we will move on to ground driving, probably wearing his western saddle with the lines run through the stirrups. I'm so glad I tried the western on him, seeing as I can't get a girth to fit the english. I'm going to be riding him in the western anyway, I was just afraid it would be too big for him. Seems okay for what we want to do with it right now though.

After that? Well I can't think of anything else besides refining everything he has been taught and then actual riding. So we will probably work him off and on this summer when I have the time (and feel like it, I'm less then 3 months from my due date now!) and then sometime this fall start putting some rides on him.

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scarlet Gets Rode

Hello again everyone! Hope you are all getting the gorgeous weather we have been blessed with lately! Its been in the 80's all this week and most of last. Love it!

Anywho, the same day last week, Wednesday I believe, that I worked Tuff the FIL got his little mare out as well. My memory card was full of Tuff from earlier, so didn't get as much footage as I would have liked, but I got a bit!

So at first she was a little spazzy. He lunged her to begin with and she was a little racecar in there. She kind of looks like she is running scared. But when he asks her to woah, she WOAHS. And then looks at him hopefully like, "can I come in to you now??"

So he did that for a few rounds and then got out his saddle and bridle. That was a bit interesting, lol. We're not sure how many times she has been tacked up (and rode for that matter) but it can't have been many. You'll see how skittish/nervous she is in the video below. It's almost like she is expecting someone to mistreat her. She has a hard time keeping her feet still when you are messing with her. Even just brushing.

Anyway after he got the saddle on her he lunged her around some more with the saddle, she didn't buck or anything but she was definitely moving on out. After that he put a bridle on and thats where she had serious problems. Any time he tried to pull on her outside rein just standing next to her she would have a complete come apart and he would have to let her go. So he would calmly go and collect her and try again. Same thing 2 or 3 more times. So finally he told us to watch her and went and got some driving lines.

Now at this point I'm thinking to myself, okay something is not right, we need to go back to the beginning here and sort it out. And get that dang tom thumb out of her mouth. But of course its his horse so I'm not going to tell him how to train her.

Anyway, he comes back and hooks her up to those and she has one nasty episode (its hard to describe what she does, she doesnt buck or rear or jump, she just has a spaz attack!) and he hauled her in and made her back up and give to the bit. And BAM. She was a different horse. Head down, docile, do whatever you say, whenever you say. He walked her around that pen turning her both ways for another 10-15 minutes and she never picked her head up or offered anything that he didn't ask for. When they woahed, she stopped and stayed there. It was like a light switch flicked on! Crazy! He said is the way she has done when he's worked with her before, its like she has to have her little moments and then she just gives up! His phone even rang when he was on her and he walked around one handed talking on it and she didn't have any issue at all with it.

I'm hoping its because of the way she was handled before and that eventually she will figure out that we aren't going to hurt her and she doesn't have to put her defenses up every time we work her. Hopefully!

So after that he took the lines off and started pulling on her saddle, putting weight in the stirrup, etc, and then just swung up and walked her off. No problems! They rode around for quite awhile just walking and trotting. She looked relaxed and a okay with everything the whole time.

Here is the video of the saddling, a little of her spastic lunging, and them walking and trotting
around the round pen. (thats my handsome hubby assisting, hehe)

So anywho, definitely ended on a good note. I hope she remembers that and starts out that way next time!

Next Post: Tuff Has His First 'Riders'!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tuff Lunging With His New Bit **Video Added**

Wow, I'm getting chatty lately, eh?

So I tried out Tuff Tuffs new bit! I'm not sure about it...I think I'd be happier if it was another 1/2 inch wider. But, he doesn't seem to mind it as far as I can tell. He chewed on it for a bit, so I just left it on him while I went back to trying to brush off 20lbs of hair, and he quit after just a few minutes. Yeah! If I moved his halter around at all (which is under the bridle) he would start chewing on it sometimes, but he wasn't gaping his mouth, or putting his head up, etc. I can get my finger between his lip and bit easily, its not tight, but there is def not anything extra.

So! Here are some pictures of him wearing it that yall can look at and give me your thoughts about it. Too small? Okay for now? Just see how he does with it? Gracias! (they should get bigger if you click)

Sorry I didn't get a face on shot! Anyway, what are yalls thoughts?

Other then that yesterday, we started some work on turns on the longe line. Well, that was...uh hum...interesting. He was a bit of a pill at times, but I'm not altogether sure I wasn't contributing to it. I have a bit of a low patience level! So after we had a galloping fit done with we settled down and he started doing inside turns to the left when I pointed my arm in that direction, quite well! Quite quickly. But then the right was a totally different story. Sigh, he was just not getting it! I didn't know how to make it any clearer to him! He was at least starting to turn his head towards me but I still had to step in front of him and push his head to the right. Every time. But we will keep working on it! He is definitely a left sided horse, as are a lot of them.

I have a short video of us doing a few lefts and a right or two (thats when we go out of frame). I also took off his reins and left his bit in, leaving the lunge attatched to his halter of course. He didn't seem to mind a'tall. It was a beautiful day! I'm glad I put sunscreen on though, or I'd have been a bit crispy. Yeah for spring!

**Okay! Got to work, here is our video! (its short for once!)

A good note! His cantering was much improved yesterday! I was watching closely and didn't see him cross canter once either way! Whoo hoo! :D I did have video of that part too but somehow it got corrupted on my memory card. 30 minutes gone! GRRR.

I found my girth that goes on my bareback pad but it was WAY too short, I swear! So anyway I have a 30 inch western cinch that has a buckle on it, might try that next time. I know some of you are thinking "just buy one!" Well I would if I lived near a good tack store, or had the extra money right now to order one. But we are just floating with all the doctor bills and other baby things going on right now! Before I start riding him I will of course get a proper one.

So thats about it! After we worked quite a while on turns etc I took him back to the side of the pen and took his bridle off. I had taken it off once earlier and he put his head up but this time he stayed calm and wouldn't open his teeth to let it go! lol. Then we headed back to the house and I hosed him off a bit (he was a very good boy for that; he likes to drink from the hose) and let him graze for a bit. Boy did that make the other horses jealous ;)

I wanted to get out there again today but it rained this morning, so its probably a mess out there...its supposed to get sunny later on (which its 2 o'clock now and still cloudy boo) so maybe I'll go out there and just work on our turns and him toting that bit and saddle around.

Next Post: Scarlet Gets Rode. The FIL got her out and rode her for the first time yesterday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Lookie What I Got!

It came in the mail yesterday, yeah! I cannot wait to get out and try it on him. I'm pretty sure its going to be too small though, what a dummy. I got caught up in the moment of only 15 seconds left at .99!! ;) It's a 4 inch.

Anywho, I was getting all excited about getting out there to work him this afternoon until I remembered the husband had already asked me yesterday if I had anything planned for today (which I said no at that point) and hes got me painting shelves all afternoon. Yeah. (we are painting a 5k sq foot house to pay for the babies doctor bills)

Oh well, I don't work Fridays anymore so maybe I can get out there then! :D

I'm trying to be optimistic and saying to myself, well he is pony SIZED so his mouth should be too! Haha, I did stick him the other night, still right around 14.1. GROWWWW!!! I swear the stud must have been a shetland pony. -_- *sigh* But at least he is a pretty 14.1. I keep telling my husband he is destined to be our little girls jumping pony, ;).

Ta ta!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tuffs First Saddling/Bridling

Tuff says "um, what did you put in my mouth,
and why is it still there??"

Here it is! The promised post! Sorry it took so long to come about!

So anywho, last Wednesday we had a gorgeous day! High 60's, low 70's. When I got home I left the husband mowing the lawn and packed up my saddle and bridle.

I was hoping the horses would be up at the house eating hay, but of course they were out in the pasture eating grass! So the two dogs and I traipsed out there. I was calling them the whole way and once I heard Tuff call back, but no sign of them. So I finally hit the back lane and saw all of them clustered at the top of the hill. Then they all came running down the hill, eep! I still worry about Missie (my mini schnauzer 5/6 month puppy) around the horses (not to mention my unborn baby!) so I yelled WOAH and put my hands up. That got them all to stop in front of me. Scarlet and Stormy were up front of course, but Tuff was right next to Stormy a little back from Scarlet, so I called to him hopefully and he actually stepped right up and I got him hooked! Phew, did NOT want to get into the middle of them in that lane.

So I walked back with him, Stormy and Skip following, and Scarlet was my little pest the whole way on my other side or right next to him. I think she didn't believe that I had not hid grain from her in the bucket of brushes I had, lol. "What? I just know your holding out on me!" -->

We made it back to the gate without incident. (Missie ran on ahead, she is pretty determined about not getting near the horses. I'm glad, harder to get stepped on that way!) The gate was a little hairy, with Scarlet wanting to escape with Tuff, but thankfully he knows the drill at gates and I was able to keep her in. Phew!

We walked to the round pen and parked just inside by the gate. The older BIL had come out and was my helper the rest of the afternoon, which was super of him! I so much appreciated it.

So first we tracked down the lunge line and whip and then I brushed him for a bit. He is starting to lose hair and it had been awhile since he'd been brushed, so that took a good 30 minutes I bet, lol. His mane was a mess. But finally I got that straightened out and clipped the lunge line on.

I sent him out on the lunge, just acting like it was something we do every day. The first time I had him in there I walked him around myself a few times on the perimeter, just to give him a chance to acclimate. But I didn’t think it necessary that day. He was a little lookey, but not terrible, and we just did some walk/trot for a bit. He was better about the pulling this time, probably because he wasn’t as giraffe necky trying to pay attention to everything but me!

So I decided the footing was well enough to do a little cantering, it was a little loose, but only muddy in a few spots. I tried to keep him out of the worst. He has only cantered on the lunge once two summers ago and I’ve been wanting to get him comfortable doing it for awhile.

So anyway, he did pretty well! He transitioned up to it very easily, like he had been doing it forever. I used the standard kiss and "canter" in a higher tone cues. He dropped back to it pretty quick once he hit the corner and then rocketed away again after he got into it. I think some of his playing up etc was him trying to stay on his feet/get his balance. Anway, I was pretty happy with him! You’ll see all this in the video I’ve got below the BIL was nice enough to take.

So after the first canter (actually I think he was galloping, lol) he was pretty up, so I did some trotting with him a bit, then some walking, etc. We did a few more transitions that way and then reversed. This way he got a little cheeky and bucked up a bit and kicked out which I growled at him about and the last transition up and down was very nice. Quiet and easy. So its something we just need to work on a bit and I’m sure it will be ho-hum in no time.

Question! When I was editing my video, I started looking at his legs…they look…funny. Like, he isn’t cantering, so I thought…is he galloping? At times when I slowed the video waay down I can see a distinctive 1,2,3,4 footfall sequence. But then I’m like, is he really going fast enough to be galloping?? Is he cross-firing in the back maybe? Or what? The hind legs are what look wonky. I don’t know enough about footfalls to be sure. So yall more experienced eyes let me know what you think!

So after we were calm and doing well on the lunge (every woah he did was excellent by the way, yeah!) I gathered him in and we went over by the gate again and the BIL got my saddle and bridle out of the car for me. I had tried to find my bareback pad earlier, but with no luck. I’d planned on using the girth off of it for the saddle, since Daisy’s is way too long for him. Boo, well I still wanted to get him used to it being on and off his back. I sat it on the panel in front of him for a few minutes while I swapped the lunge for his lead rope and he sniffed it a few times, ladee da. Then lifted it off, let him see it, then just plopped it on his back. And he did SUPER. No problems at all. On and off a few times, wiggle wiggle. Baby stuff for him, apparently.

So then I decided well, what the heck lets just waltz around. I of course was sure to admonish him before we started to NOT, under any circumstances, dump my pretty saddle that was given to me in the dirt!! (thanks again Becca! ;) If I thought he was going to be a problem though, I wouldn't have done it. But I've had stuff on and off his back since he was 6 months old with no difficulty at all.

Here he is looking so cute and grown up:

So I didn't do that but maybe one or two rounds and then had the BIL grab Daisys bridle from the car. (Did I mention he was a good helper??) I was pretty sure it would be much too big for him so I shortened it up and then looked at it and thought, okay too much. So I let it out to one smaller then Daisys normal setting after I held it up to his face. I definitely would rather have it hanging in his mouth then choking him! Well turns out that was about right! I always knew Daisy had a cute little head ;).

So he did well when I put it in his mouth, I was just patient with him and let him figure out what I wanted. It took a little bit for him to decide he wanted to open his teeth but after that no probs slipping his ear in the bridle, etc. I love having a horse that will keep their head low and calmly take a bit, so I am very careful to be slow and easy with him. Who loves bridling a horse with his head in the air like a giraffe?? Not I!

Well of course all he did after that was chew chew chew on it. You'll see at the end of the video how he is concentrating so hard he isn't picking his feet up high enough, lol. But he was calm and pretty okay with it all, so I was happy. I took it off and put it back on again, being careful to not bang his teeth, etc. and he did awesome. He even stopped chewing for a second! I took it off real quick when he did that, lol.

So here is the video!

So all in all a good session with Tuff Tuff! We do need more lunging work (kicking out and playing up are not to be the norm) and only time will get him doing well with a bit. I'm still so happy to see that he is okay with leaving his buddies and not being able to see them, and not being distracted by that at all. I will try to remember to measure his height next time, I'm curious. I'm hoping we are real close to 14.3! But not holding my ;).

I ordered him a full-cheek off ebay, maybe I'll get it this week. I'm afraid it will be too small...I forgot to measure his mouth when I was out there! But it was only .99! (well, $8 of shipping, lol) So I jumped on it. We'll see. Like I keep telling my husband, you can NEVER have too many bits. Its impossible. ;) He doesn't believe me.

Well, until later! Have a great week everyone!